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Many of us learned to return thanks to God after a good meal with the word “O, give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good and His mercy endures forever.” Giving thanks is something that our nation will be encouraged to do on the National Day of Thanksgiving in our country. It is good that we join with millions of others on this day to give thanks unto our God for all His bounty and blessing on us and our nation.

But Jesus reminds us that we are to be thankful every day, not just on Thanksgiving. In the Lord’s Prayer, He taught us to say, “Give us this day our daily bread.” Martin Luther explained the meaning of this petition in this way: “God gives daily bread indeed without our prayer, also to all the wicked, but we pray in this petition that He would lead us to know it and to receive our daily bread with thanksgiving.”

Luther defined “daily bread” as “everything that belongs to the support and wants of the body, such as food, drink, clothing, shoes, house, home, money, goods, a pious spouse, pious children, pious servants, pious and faithful rulers, good government, good weather, peace, health, discipline, honor, good friends, faithful neighbors, and the like.” It is good for us to pause more than occasionally in our busy lives and reflect on what we are really saying when we pray those simple words, “Give us this day our daily bread.”

We are God’s stewards who daily receive countless blessings from His gracious hand. The greatest blessing we have received is the gift of salvation through faith in His only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord. But God does not stop there. He knows that we also have physical needs and so He provides for them, and He provides lavishly.

Our appropriate response is to receive God’s gifts with thanksgiving and use them as He intends. May this National Day of Thanksgiving be a reminder to be thankful daily for all the blessings God gives to us and to use them in a way that honors Him and blesses those around us.

Saint John’s Stewardship Board promotes the development of good stewardship and giving patterns among the members of Saint John’s.